Loco Coffee 2.0 - How We Got Here
When we (Dan and Sean here) had this crazy idea to start a coffee company 5 years ago, this is what “formulating” looked like:
Although we certainly weren’t food scientists or nutritionists, we knew there was an opportunity to create a better-for-you coffee. We experimented for weeks with anything and everything we could think of. It started with espresso, but that seemed too acidic. So we moved on to cold brewing the coffee.The Key Ingredient
We knew we didn’t want to add a ton of sugar, so we added coconut water to give it a hint of sweetness. This became the base for all formulations. We tried mixing in bananas, lemons, oranges, protein powder, peanut butter, milk, almond milk and pretty much anything else we could throw in a blender! After running through way too many ingredients, we happened to take a sip of what we thought was just the base and realized we had been completely overthinking it.
Cold brew with coconut water. That’s what we were looking for, and it was there the whole time. That was our first light bulb moment. It was also a pretty good sign of how things would typically work for us moving forward--try a thousand ideas before realizing the best one was there the whole time and we had overlooked it. Since then, we’ve gone through many iterations and have constantly been trying to improve the taste and quality.The Light Bulb Moment
Our first ever light bulb moment was when we found that cold brew and coconut water was the drink we had been looking for. However, that moment was just a couple guys experimenting in a kitchen with an idea that everyone else in the world could have thought was terrible.
The real light bulb moment came after we set up a table at a local Boston crossfit competition to “give out samples” of our newly formulated coffee. “Give out samples” is in quotes because I’m not sure we even had the chance to pour a single sample. Someone came up to us immediately and asked for the price of a bottle, to which we replied “Oh nothing, we just want to pour you a sample for free!”
They promptly offered us three dollars for a bottle. From then it took us only an hour to sell through all 70 bottles of coffee we had hand-filled that morning, even though the competition lasted another three hours.
That car ride back to Dan’s place is a moment we often reference when telling the Loco story. It was a weird feeling that we both felt, but at some point we just looked at each other and said “Well, I guess people are looking for a healthier coffee. We’re doing this and there is no turning back now.”
That competition was the major turning point for us. This was no longer a crazy idea we had that our friends and family supported, this was now a product and a brand that people wanted to be a part of.
All these years, we have been working towards this product that we are about to launch. It's been two years in the works, but we can truly say this is the best tasting product we have ever produced. Each flavor still has the same two simple ingredients, but now they are way smoother, less bitter, AND have less sugar and calories. This is the better-for-you coffee we envisioned five years ago in Sean’s apartment, and we are so excited to finally introduce it to the world.